Sunday, March 8, 2009

Economic stimulus, the equestrian way

I did a little shopping a few weeks ago. I'm getting ready for the upcoming show season. It isn't that I'm made out of money. It all started with a hat...

I'm planning to drag Huey out to the shows this year with Armani. So my mother insisted on dragging me to the tack store's "Spring Sale" so I could buy a new helmet. Note, that I said I had to buy a new show helmet - because this hunter green plastic helmet, pictured left, would "embarrass Huey". Funny, it didn't embarrass Armani all last show season.

I first picked out wormer. My whip and gloves are busted. So I rummaged for a new whip and gloves in the clearance bin. Meanwhile my mother called to me from the hat display. She had wrangled 3 sales ladies who spent at least 20 minutes popping helmets on and off my head. Of course the helmet display was next to the boot display. It was then I was informed that my old $80 special field boots might also be embarrassing to Huey's dignity.

I found a pair of $120 dress boots on sale, in my size. They fit fairly well. Well enough for "on sale". My mother picked out nearly $400 boots just so I could "try them on". Naturally I "looked more professional" in those. They fit perfectly. I put them back though, "They shouldn't be judging me by my boots." I put the $120 pair back on...

"You aren't thinking of wearing those?" My instructor suddenly walked up to us, with another couple of my horse lady friends. Figures they couldn't resist the sale either. The ladies gathered around. "How about these? They'd look very professional!" My instructor handed me back the $400 pair. My mother agreed. The ladies agreed.

As I put them back on, I was thinking of some form of protest: Armani would prefer I spend $400 on carrots, perhaps $400 would be better spent taking all the judges I can find out to dinner, I might want buy 200 Power Ball tickets and strike it rich... Fortunately, one of the ladies called for an opinion from the jacket section.

I was alone.

I slipped the $120 pair back into my cart.

Sorry Mom.


Grey Horse Matters said...

Sounds like a good day shopping the sales bins. The boots will get muddy anyway and you'll feel better not wearing the $400 dollar ones tromping through manure.

SolitaireMare said...

LOL, I really hate helmet shopping. It's one of if not THE most important items of riding gear and it's a pain to look for one that fits well and looks good. Then there's the whole hair issue, will the helmet fit correctly with hair tucked under and if worn with your hair outside, is it now too big? I just cut my hair short. Problem solved but I do love when a lady rider has that perfect hair that's just swept over their ears, neatly tucked under the cap and held together in a hairnet. Classic.

Boot makers have gotten better. Used to be cheap boots were just that. And if you wore them for more than lessons and shows they would eventually fall apart. Now, the cheaper boots are quite nicely made and with good care will last a little longer. As long as they are tall enough in that they fit all the way up to just above the back of the knee (because they will "drop" as the ankles break in and crease) and they fit your calves well, it shouldn't matter what the cost, they will look correct in the saddle.

I love tack shops! Ebay is fun but there's nothing like browsing for stuff in a tack shop.

Jessica Burkhart said...

Ooh, now you're making me want to run to the tack store now. :)